The guy who's taking over "The Colbert Report" time slot thinks we're all "race-a-holics." I kind of love him for that.
He's also saying a lot of stuff that black people have wanted to say for a while. Now he's got a new TV show where we can hear all of these thoughts. So, who is this guy?
He's Larry Wilmore!
He's also the brand new host of Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore."
As you probably know, Stephen Colbert, who cranked out the LOLs as a fictional newscaster on "The Colbert Report," moved on to fill Letterman's slot as the new host of "The Late Show."
Making way for Wilmore!
Although he'll be taking over "The Colbert Report" slot, don't call him the new Colbert just because he's hilarious. This dude really has a all his own.
So why am I so excited to see Larry?
Here are my top 5 reasons:
1. He can tackle the tough issues.
As the "black senior correspondent" on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," he's got a knack for talking about the hard stuff — race, discrimination, "black-on-black" crime, and "police-on-black" crime. In a recent "Daily Show" episode, Jon asks him about black-on-black crime and how it's being brought up as a deterrent to talking about police-on-black crime. Larry responded with:
"Can we stop calling it black-on-black crime? It's just crime, OK? 'Black-on-black' just makes it seem like a category on RedTube — that's a porn site, Jon."
"Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease are kicking black-on-black crime's ass, OK? But no one is saying we need to get rid of those before we can talk about racism."
2. He's got a killer resume.
In addition to "The Daily Show," Larry's totally been in the comedy circle for more than a minute. You might have caught one of his Showtime "town-hall" comedy specials, "Larry Wilmore's Race, Religion, Sex." He also created "The Bernie Mac Show," co-created the animated series "The PJs," was a writer for NBC's "The Office," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and "In Living Color." He was also the executive producer for "Black-ish" before taking on "The Nightly Show."
3. He's not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.
On "The Nightly Show," Larry won't be in character; he'll anchor the show, interjecting comedic bits from himself, panelists, and a group of diverse correspondents. The show will focus on what's going on in the news, adding his honest yet cutting perspective, which is often underrepresented in the mainstream. So it'll probably be stuff like this:
In an interview with ABC News, Larry explained:
"(It's) better to have an authentic, interesting conversation and have the show be a little quieter than just setting up jokes that at the end of the day nobody cares about. That, I'm not interested in. I'd rather be scared by something somebody says."
4. He thinks we're all "race-a-holics."
Wait ... what?! Let him explain.
"We won't end it (racism). The world's always been like this — brother against brother, tribe against tribe. It's not just going to go away. It's part of our DNA. We're 'race-a-holics,' Jon. We'll always be in recovery. The best we can hope for is to manage it."
5. He's making history.
As the only person of color on TV right now with a late-night talk show, Larry Wilmore will undoubtedly fill a void. I imagine the show to be less like Arsenio Hall, more like Melissa Harris Perry, with a touch of "The Daily Show" added in for comedic relief. He'll bring a fresh perspective and probably say some things that black people have wanted to say for a long time. Regardless, having a guy like him on late night is long overdue.
To see Larry in action, check out this clip from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart":